A few ruminations in the wake of last night's Democratic debate:
There was a lot of talk about the damage that atmospheric CO2 is doing to our climate and how we need to tax carbon and end fossil fuel consumption. This would, of course, raise fuel costs, put an awful lot of people out of work, and be especially hard on the poor. That should concern those who claim to have the interests of the middle class and poor at heart, so I wonder if it might not be a better idea to offer research grants to encourage the development of economically feasible technology that would suck CO2 out of the air rather than destroy entire industries to try to prevent it from going in. It would certainly be better to create manufacturing and R&D jobs than to destroy them.
There was also much talk among the Democrat candidates about free college education, but the question that pleads for an answer is how would it be paid for? The consensus among the leftist/socialists on the stage was what it always is for leftist/socialists, i.e. tax the rich. This, however, is a proposal that's almost guaranteed not to work. I prefer Jim Geraghty's idea (or is it Jonah Goldberg's): Levy a tax on the endowments of our richest universities, like Harvard. They're loaded with dough, and they're all run by very progressive folks who are vociferously in favor of requiring the rich to pay more taxes. Surely they'd leap at the chance to pay their fair share to make free education possible for everyone, don't you think?
There was considerable enthusiasm last night for raising the minimum wage to $10 and hour so that everyone in the country could make a "living wage." This is a great idea, but it's only a start. If $10 an hour helps people get by, why stop there? Why not raise the minimum wage to $100 an hour so that everyone can be rich, own their own boat and vacation wherever it is the Obama's vacation? We should print bumper stickers saying, "Why not $100?" But where's the money going to come from, you ask? I don't know. Obama's stash. Who cares? It's the right thing to do. It helps the poor. If we need more money we can just print it.
Critics often allege that Hillary is not nearly as good a liar as her husband, Bill, but I think this is very unfair to Hillary, and, since she's a woman, the slur borders on being sexist. Indeed, she fibbed masterfully in the debate. For example, she claimed that because the GOP wants to end subsidies to Planned Parenthood of half a billion dollars a year that therefore they're really promoting big government. It's not clear how wanting to cut taxpayer support of Planned Parenthood and shifting the funds to other organizations which promote women's health is an act of "big government," but the art of telling a good whopper is, in part, saying something ridiculous and getting an unthinking audience and media, who are sure they've just heard a jolly good zinger, to cheer. Breitbart lists a bunch of other examples of Hillary's skillful mendacity in last night's event here.
Finally, once upon a time we were told that Hillary was the smartest woman in the world. Well, maybe so, but do smart people say things like, "I made no decision on the Keystone pipeline until I made a decision on the Keystone pipeline"? Just asking.